30 June 2006

Daily Show Idolatry-- Best way to eat a Banana

Idiota de los cojones!

Continuing their all-bullshit approach to local news, KWWL-Waterloo managed to make every viewer watching that night retreat in nauseous disgust over the use of one "revolutionary" camera angle.

So living in Iowa, there aren't many things happening that appeal to a world-wide audience. The biggest story in any given week is the latest natural disaster, political campaign or harvest prediction. With the opening of a new all-grass tennis club, however, fans of the game (and of the current Wimbledon tournament) were getting an inside look at the unique court.

There were wide shots of the short grass, before and after pictures, and strawberry bushes lining the white fence. Oh, and a near close-up of a guy's balls.

While my attempt at recreation may be spotty, as it certainly doesn't do the angle justice, it is a basic representation of the image that's burned into the back of my brain. I'm not sure how they arrived on this as a good idea, but Rick Coleman (the reporter on the scene) never saw a problem with it.

When things are this ridiculous, I usually think there's some inside joke going on. I don't think that's the case, for some reason....

29 June 2006

Bitter? I'm not bitter. YOU'RE bitter.

Over the past few summers, I’ve had little to cling to while I’ve been living at home—you know, because of the whole shitty television situation. Last Comic Standing, however, has been a great respite from According to Jim reruns and Dateline Rape-a-Kid Specials. Two summers ago, one of my early favorites ended up winning LCS, even though Todd Glass (who was eliminated before the final show) was the funniest there. Example, as I remember one of his jokes going (his was funnied-up; I only remember the ending):

Hey gang, so I was sitting next to a lady on a plane recently, and she started talking to me. Eventually, the conversation turned towards her cat, and how she had tried some of her cat’s breakfast that morning. So she asks me, “Does my breath smell like my cat’s breakfast?” And she exhaled right into my face. So I go, “I don’t know, lady. Does your cat eat shit for breakfast?”

I might be combining other memories with that one, but I remember laughing for a good 5-10 minutes. But anyway, I’ve got a good eye for what’s funny and what’s Mencia-esque. There were plenty of funny people on the auditions show to go along with the majority of the fucking lame. Most of the people in the call-back shows, then, were funny. More than half. The remainder consisted of people they’d interviewed on-camera in the first show who sounded like they had a more interesting back story than comedy act. Still, I felt good when most of my favorites were much better than the interesting storied individuals. Boy, did I look like an ass when they announced the results. Turns out, to be the last comic standing on NBC, all you’re required to do is fit a certain demographic and show up. Jokes preferred, but not required.

Eight of the twelve that made it into the final (“on the boat,” literally) weren’t funnier than at least 20 of the 28 eliminated. They eliminated Doug fucking Benson, after he gave an insanely well-written three minutes, ferchristsake. They let in Stella—a pregnant housewife that just bitched about a bad marriage, her lost youth, and other grossly undermined sources for comedy.

“My husband, the sad bastard, just flops around on top of me for a few minutes. It’s sex. He’s like a beached whale. I’m pregnant now. Damn husband. He got me pregnant. I shoulda divorced him.” I’m not sure she said this verbatim, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s funnier than anything she’s ever said before.

But I’m getting long in my rant, so I’ll just say that most of the comics are shit. If neither Chris Porter or Josh (the Cerebral Palsy guy) wins the show, I’ll be pissed off for awhile. And a little sad.

International Awareness Day

When I was a freshman in high school, I had to take World Studies as that year's social studies requirement. We all were assigned countries to follow throughout the year, finding one news article each week to write a summary of and turn in. I was fortunate enough to end up with Lebanon, clearly a news-producing nation. There were a few bombings, peace talks with the Israeli occupants, murderous clowns, telemarketing scams, harvest predictions, human-on-animal testing, porn rings and spelling bees. Okay, I can’t remember a damn thing about Lebanon—outside of the fact that the capital is Beirut.

Speaking of Beirut, there’s a new band by the same name that is very good at playing music and stuff. It is fun for me to listen to, and you can listen to it too, and maybe you’ll have fun. There’ve been hundreds of posts on blogs much more prominent than this about the band, so look up most any indie music blog for a glowing review. All I’ve got to say is they’re really fucking good at the music thing, and there are free songs of theirs that you can get online. And “Postcards from Italy” may be the best song I’ve ever heard.

Beirut website, with a few songs to download.

Video of "Postcards from Italy" live. Not the best quality, but still good.

“Whoever sold you those suits had a wonderful sense of humor”

It’s true. That suit looks ridiculous on you.

I’ve been lazy as shit the last few days, neglecting all of you in the hot car of life as daddy has a quick few drinks inside. In all honesty, I've been controlled by some damn little moving dots on my TV--the soccer dots in Fifa Soccer 2006, a game I bought due to all of the excitement riled up within me from the current World Cup tournament.

As it turns out, though, I knew almost nothing about soccer or the strategies that go into a good game going in. 72 hours later, I've mastered the management side of it, and can score a goal or two if all my players are extremely good and we're facing a middle school co-ed team (or the professional equivalent).

26 June 2006

Proof that Stephen Colbert is a god in and of himself

Why I don't enjoy modern-day politicians.

25 June 2006

The beginning of relevancy

The suspense has been killing you, I can tell.

On Friday night, two days after breezing through the application process, I got a call that confirmed a dream I've had since reading about it in the paper last Sunday. Yep, if you know me, you've already guessed what it is--selling sofas at Sofa Mart (a Furniture Row company).

I can't think of a better way to invest 40+ hours a week, especially considering my specific skill set:

-I like to sit on couches; Sofa Mart sells couches!
-Writing is always a top priority for me; there's all kinds of writing at Sofa Mart--just look at that picture! "Sofa Mart," written twice!
-I feel better about myself when my ability to persuade someone else into giving me (or in this case, Sofa Mart, and then eventually me based on an arranged commission) something overcomes that person's ability to dissuade my advances.

I'm quite excited. Not only am I about to become a "functioning member of society," but I'll also get to do it in an industry supporting America's growth (that's a fucking deep revelation, people). Come buy a sofa from me (and a dining room set?).
Slimmin' Down with Steve--Daily Show Idolatry

There's some statistic that the majority of Americans have cable (or some upgrade from antenna); somehow, this amazing new technology never found its way into my house. It's tough--especially when you (see: I) sit around the house "looking for a job" for five weeks. The most painful part of the loss is the broken habit of watching "The Daily Show" and "Colbert Report" for that glorious hour four days a week.

The always-amazing YouTube, however, is able to hint--if only a bit--at what I'm missing. So, as I say as often as possible, "Steve Carell is amazing, enjoy this clip, and that isn't ice cream at the end..."

24 June 2006

Amazing analogy

In case you didn't already know, I think I should clear up that I'm a 13-year-old-boy-unhooking-his-first-bra when it comes to web design. I try things and fumble around a lot before I really get anywhere. So things will continue to change more and more as I figure out the intricacies of the internet's undergarments.

If you have any suggestions/comments/compliments, I'd generally tell you to fuck off and keep it to yourself, but I guess you could leave a comment and I wouldn't think much less of you.

23 June 2006

Inaugural Douche Chill!

I once said that if Tom Welling didn’t get the starring role in the new Superman Returns movie, I’d be angry enough to boycott it. That was, of course, before I started keeping track of every cardboard “You’ll never get away with this” and “I thought you were my friend” to come out of his mouth. True, the “Smallville” writers are to blame for some of Clark Kent’s shoddy dialogue on the teen melodrama, but an actor sometimes needs to break through the constant clich├ęs and just do some fucking flying (come on, already!).

I’ve watched the show since around the end of the second season—cramming in the first two between finals my freshman year of college. Ever since then, the crazy twists and turns have been entertaining—I knew Chloe wasn’t dead before she did—but more in the “if this was forced any more, I think Tom Welling’s head might explode” way than the “I hope Lana doesn’t get ripped in half by the tornado that she’s getting sucked up into but oh wait Clark is jumping into it and maybe he’ll save her…what will happen?!?” way.

So for missing out on the lead part of the movie I now want to see, getting nominated for a Teen Choice Award for “Best Male Actor in a Drama/Action Adventure,” and getting trapped in a damn mirror to be sent out into Space—perhaps never to return?!?—Tom Welling is the inaugural “Douche Chill!…..of the week.”

22 June 2006

Unabashed Daily Show Idolatry

This I love so much. Something to aspire to, I suppose.

20 June 2006

Color is nice, but sepia pays the bills

In the tradition of me doing things--almost always extremely well--I continued my crash course with photoshop this afternoon. Yeah, okay, so maybe this is the 4th picture I've taken of myself and put up within the blog's first week, but I can't help the fact (see: blog title) that the face at the right wants to get seen by some eyes.

I realize that some of my past pictures come off as immature or historically irrelevant. And I also realize that overcoming that small setback can be a few clicks in photoshop. So, while color photos might be the new trend in Popularpictureville, I've decided to demonstrate my keen historical awareness with an amazing Old West flashback. Hold your applause.

The blurring sepia tones truly give it a.....something feeling. Just think: in 200 years, after Global Cooling falls out of Al Gore's ass (along with his head) to throw us all a "fuck you, prognosticators," some futuristic (and obviously flying robot-like thing) scientist could uncover the internet, see this picture, and get REALLY FUCKIN CONFUSED about what life was like way back when! They'll be like "huh?" and probably take it all serious and stuff! Fuckin future generations and all their stupid science bullshit...

Three million points to whoever can come up with the best way for our present generation to screw all future generations--global warming/cooling, nuclear holocaust and Sam Jackson movies are off limits. Be creative and have fun!

Goddamn capitalists...

It's 3:30 in the morning, and I can't sleep. It's not a unique experience for me; it's more of a daily occurrence so far this summer. But I fell asleep before 10, only to wake up after a few hours and feeling like my insides wanted more than anything to be my outsides.

I blame the Claritin I took early today, the 300 peanuts I ate after golfing and all the refreshments in between.

So I'm never drinking again for the second time in four days.

Anyways, here's a round-up of things I'm thinking (so you should too):

-If you live in Eastern Iowa, you might know about KWWL News Channel 7 is fucking CRAZY!!!111!!! lately. They've got new, hip jingles to go along with their recently-updated studio. What I find most interesting about this is their new organizational philosophy: sticking as much bullshit into every newscast as possible. For example, if they're covering and on-going story, they'll flash a fancy graphic up before they start talking about it--"Continuing Coverage." They've got two or three other categories that most every story falls into. So unnecessary. It's like me wearing a t-shirt that says "unsuccessful" while giving a thumbs up. Yep, pretty obvious.

-I think my dream job is working for ABC World News Now for their overnight anchor position. Basically, for those of you who have never been up due to a bad Claritin/Beer mix, its like a normal newscast without the stick-and-ass marriage. The anchors introduce clips, watch the clips, then idly talk about the clip. It's entertaining--seriously--because they don't care about making mistakes. I'm guessing my trademark 4 am saying would get me fired, though, after giggling my way through a story about American Idol or whatever popular culture story of the day: "fucking dumbasses..."

-If you haven't seen The Show with Ze Frank yet, you've been missing out HUGE. He puts up a new political-news-focused video every day, mixing in Knowledge. If you like the Daily Show or Colbert Report, this will be similar to crack cocaine for a normal person. (Link on the sidebar)

18 June 2006

Oh, look! A seagull!

If you've arrived here looking for a sofa, as in you want me to sell you one, stick around for awhile--I'm working on being able to be the one to sell you not only a sofa, but also some peace of mind (and a dining room set). If you've arrived for any other reason, read on, but also: consider a sofa.

I successfully graduated from college about a month ago without any obvious applicable skills, aside from my ability to write good and stuff. El oh el--irony! Anyway, I've found in my search for a job that the same people proclaiming "good written communication skills" as a requirement are among the majority who think Dan Brown (and while I'm on this unsolicited rant, John Grisham and JK Rowling and Dean Koontz and Stephen King, also) writes "really good literary fiction." He doesn't (they don't). It's not their objective: "art" isn't their objective. They write popular fiction that is meant to intrigue; sometimes it does, and their books sell millions of copies. Good for them. It's a living.

But I'm poor, and I attempt to write fiction without considering how well it will sell. In this, however, I'm quite stubborn and I don't write often enough. I've got six months till I attempt to pick myself up from a disappointing and futile attempt at graduate school admissions to reapply to a few MFA in Creative Writing programs.

So I've started a blog to fill three needs--1) learn a bit about web designing and all that jibberjabber behind the internet (I guess it's finally catching on...); 2) gain a feeling of productivity between the few job applications being sent out and all the call-backs I'm not recieving; and 3) get into a writing habit by gettin my ole' college newspaper column back in order.

I'll post about whatever I feel interested in on a given day--books, music, comedy, INTROSPECTIVE LIFE LESSONS and all that shit. Hopefully something good will come of it.

Also, you have no idea how much of a hypocrite this site probably proves me to be. Thanks for being a part of my soul dying.

My favorite picture ever (maybe).

Also, bonus points if you get the first picture reference. A million bonus points. (Keep track)